Player name: Zinedine Yazid Zidane
Clubs: Cannes, Bourdeaux, Juventus, Real Madrid
Position: Attacking midfielder
Height: 6 ft 1 in
Zinedine Zidane, popularly known as Zizou, is a French former professional football player who played as an attacking midfielder. He is the current manager of La Liga club Real Madrid and is one of the most successful managers in the world. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Zidane was an elite playmaker renowned for his elegance, vision, passing, ball control, and technique. He received many individual accolades as a player, including being named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1998, 2000 and 2003, and winning the 1998 Ballon d'Or.
Zidane started his career at Cannes before establishing himself as one of the best players in the French Division 1 at Bordeaux. In 1996, he moved to Juventus where he won trophies including two Serie A titles. He moved to Real Madrid for a world record fee at the time of €77.5 million in 2001, which remained unmatched for the next eight years. In Spain, Zidane won several trophies, including a La Liga title and the UEFA Champions League. In the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final, he scored a left-foot volleyed match winner which is considered to be one of the greatest goals in the competition's entire history.
Here at BCBootsUK, we are able to present to you one of the finest and most sought after pieces of footballing memorabilia in the entire world. This pair of Adidas Predator Precision's were bespoke made for and match worn by the legend himself, Zizou, during the 1999-2000 Serie A & UEFA Champions League season whilst playing for Juventus FC, as well as during the UEFA Euro 2000 tournament whilst representing his nation, France, that summer. A truly exquisite piece, which most would deem impossible to acquire in this modern day, but we however, have made it happen...
Capped 108 times by France, Zidane won the 1998 FIFA World Cup, scoring twice in the final, and was named to the All-Star Team. This triumph made him a national hero in France, and he received the Legion of Honour in 1998. He won UEFA Euro 2000 using this very pair of Predator Precision's, and was named Player of the Tournament. He also received the Golden Ball for Player of the Tournament at the 2006 World Cup, despite his infamous sending off in the final against Italy for headbutting Marco Materazzi in the chest. He retired as the fourth-most capped player in French history.
Well, where do we start with this pair. They truly do leave you speechless! An immensely iconic pair from an equally as such player, with an unbelievable level of *WOW* factor. The overall quality of these is simply second to none, given that they are over 2 decades old, they put modern day boots to shame. The materials used and attention to detail is just staggering, as you would expect with a pair worn by one of the greatest the beautiful game has ever seen.
In 2004, he was named in the FIFA 100, a list of the world's greatest living players compiled by Pelé, and in the same year was named the best European footballer of the past 50 years in the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll. Zidane is one of only eight players to have won the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA Champions League and the Ballon d'Or. After retiring as a player, Zidane transitioned into coaching, and began his head coaching career at Real Madrid Castilla. He remained in the position for two years before taking the helm of the first team in 2016. In his initial two and a half seasons, Zidane became the first coach to win the Champions League three times consecutively, won the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup twice each, as well as a La Liga title and a Supercopa de España. This success led to Zidane being named Best FIFA Men's Coach in 2017. He resigned in 2018, but returned to the club as manager in 2019, and proceeded to win another La Liga and Supercopa de España title.
As is similar to Adidas' top sponsored athletes of today, the boots are specially custom hand made to measure in Germany by only their top craftsmen. Although the internal size labels of course feature a completely different design layout to the modern day made in Germany boots, they were in fact made in the same location - Herzogenaurach, the same place where Adidas HQ is based. The label in Zidane's Precision's simply states only the size and country of manufacture, no art no. or product code as they were made to go no where near the retail/commercial market - so that space was just left blank.
When France won the UEFA Euro 2000 tournament, they became the first team to hold both the World Cup and the European Championship since West Germany in 1974. Zidane finished with two goals, a bending free kick against Spain in the quarter-final and the golden goal in the semi-final against Portugal with a penalty. UEFA named Zidane Player of the Tournament. Zidane himself believes he was at his peak during the tournament, while the UEFA website states, "In Belgium and the Netherlands, Zidane dominated a major championship in a way no individual had managed since Diego Maradona in 1986. From the opening game against Denmark to the final against Italy, 'Zizou' shone brightly, casting a spell on his opponents with clever flicks, mesmerising stepovers, slaloming runs and masterful vision."
Moving onto the upper, this pair have been constructed using only the finest leather material, which even all these years on since production and heavy match use from ZZ, is still butter soft. This really does speak volumes for the level of service Adidas provided, and still continue to provide, to their very top sponsored athletes... no regular retail stuff going on here!
Many authoritative voices within the world of football have acclaimed Zidane's skills and importance in the history of football, such as Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, who called Zidane "a monster" for his performance and abilities. German coach Franz Beckenbauer stated, "Zidane is one of the greatest players in history, a truly magnificent player." Italy manager Marcello Lippi, who also coached Zidane, opined, "I think Zidane is the greatest talent we've known in football these last twenty years." Former England manager Kevin Keegan said, "You look at Zidane and think 'I've never seen a player quite like that.' What sets Zidane apart is the way he manipulates a football, buying himself space that isn't there. Add his vision and it makes him very special." At the 1998 World Cup, Italian manager Cesare Maldini said, "I would give up five players to have Zidane in my squad."
The incredible leather quality has been carried over into the tongue as well, which jist like the upper, is still crazy soft. It features the Velcro fastening attachment running on top of the lacing system, with his name "Zidane" embroidered just above the Adidas logo in that famous, exclusive, Adidas font of the time. Beautiful. Another difference, allbeit a small detail, is the addition of metal rings in the lacing holes at the top of the system, these typically would aid in the durability of the boots as the lace holes would not be forcibly over stretched therefore preventing the posibikity of ripping. Back in the day, unlike in the modern game, players like Zidane didn't change boots with most uses so durability was a priority.
Among his playing peers, Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimović commented, "Zidane was from another planet. When Zidane stepped onto the pitch, the ten other guys just got suddenly better. It is that simple." David Beckham has described Zidane as "the greatest of all time", Barcelona star Xavi has stated in a 2010 interview that Zidane was "best player in the '90s and early 2000s", while Brazilian defender and former Madrid teammate Roberto Carlos has said of Zidane, "He is the best player I've seen. Supporters arrived earlier at the Bernabéu just to see him warm-up." Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho stated, "Zidane is one of the best footballers of all time, one of my idols. He had such elegance and grace, a wonderful touch and superb vision." Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard regards Zidane as "the best ever", and growing up he learned from his idol by "watching him on television and online for hours." Displaying skills with an array of moves such as his signature La Roulette pirouette, step overs and close ball control, former Brazilian international Rivaldo stated, "His elegance of movement on the pitch and his skills are uncanny." Journalist Sid Lowe wrote, "Zidane was football's answer to the Bolshoi Ballet. Zidane was elegance above all else."
The major modification which Zidane had on his Predator Precision's was to the soleplate, which whilst visually from a distance it may seem the same as the retail model, it is in fact completely different. The Traxion plate on his pair was lifted from the take down middle of the range model and it does actually make sense as to why he did it. It is made up of a much thinner plastic material which holds a consistency throughout its entirety, therefore providing a nice clean balance for the user. The bladed stud layout is the same as that of the retail model, although the material of them is more of a soft rubbery construction as opposed to the solid plastic blades found on the retail variant. The soleplate featured on the top of the range Adidas Predator Precision was somewhat bulky and overly thick, the bulkiness seemed to add nothing barring a nice visual design... that was about it, and Zidane was clearly under agreement too with him opting for the no nonsense flat plate.
The Adidas logo in the midfoot area on each soleplate has been made to be the same colour as the soleplate itself, purely because on the retail version Precision plate the logo was much smaller in size and placed closer to the rear. Yes, that's right, even over 20 years ago Adidas were camouflaging the modifications that their top players were having on their football boots. Typically the thinner soleplate would give a more barefoot sensation when playing, along with making the boots lighter it also made them more flexible.
Zidane has been named FIFA World Player of the Year three times, a feat achieved only by Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. When he won the honour in 2000, Adidas made him a one-off Predator Precision in a never seen before gold/red/black colourway to commemorate his triumph, with "World Player 2000" embroidered into the heels - stunning. In 2002, ESPN described Zidane as "the greatest player in the world in the world's biggest game". In 2005, upon Zidane's return to the French national team, his teammate Thierry Henry stated, "In France, everybody realized that God exists, and that he is back in the French international team." Zidane has been lauded by sportsmen outside football; having witnessed Zidane's goal against Deportivo La Coruña in January 2002, where he dragged the ball right then left, turning the defender inside out, before scoring with a left foot finish, basketball player Magic Johnson stated, "One of the most inspiring nights of my life. Zidane is a phenomenon."
At the rear of the boots, the standard retail pairs featured a fairly large Adidas logo in white. The made in Germany player editions of this specific black/red/white FG Predator Precision instead featured a stitched "Equipment" logo, another fine detail which sets them apart from a shop bought pair. The heels themselves feature additional reinforcement, with the internal counters being practically solid and actually wrap quite far into the midfoot - another indication of the made to measure specifications. This is something that may not benefit everyone as all feet are different, but this would have of course suited Zidane perfectly right down to the finest millimetre.
So then, there we have it, an up close insight into the match worn Adidas Predator Precision's of the genius that is Zinedine Zidane, a truly iconic pair from an equally as iconic master of the game. Where does Zizou rank in the *all time* list of footballers the game has ever seen? Let us know in the comments below!